Our laboratory is interested in understanding immune mechanisms of inflammatory skin diseases. We use the latest approaches including single cell RNA sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, RNA in situ hybridization, proteomic profiling, and others to decipher the dysregulation of immunity that occurs in the skin and blood of patients affected by these disorders. We are particularly focused on understanding cutaneous granulomatous skin diseases including sarcoidosis, granuloma annulare, necrobiosis lipoidica, necrobiotic xanthogranuloma, and others. These diseases are unified by having macrophage-rich inflammation histologically. None of these conditions have FDA approved therapies. We also have a research program in alopecias (hair loss) which include: alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, frontal fibrosing alopecia/lichen planopilaris, and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. Cicatricial alopecias have not FDA approved therapies. Researching these disorders gives us an ability to identify new therapeutic approaches for patients and improve our understanding of immunity in skin.
Much of our research involves analysis of samples from patients before and after treatment with novel targeted therapies from our clinical trials. Dr. Damsky is the PI of several clinical trials in this area, Dr. Brett King our close collaborator is one of the leading alopecia experts in the world and also the PI for several studies. This work allows us to correlate immunologic and other changes as a function of medical therapy in the context of the clinical response allowing us to better understand how the medication might be working and ways to improve / refine therapy. We are also interested in personalized medicine and have programs in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
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